The Abuja Division of the Nigerian Appeal Court has affirmed the N50 million awarded against Senator Elisha Abbo in damages for assaulting a woman, Ms Osimibibra Warmate, in a sex toy shop in the country’s capital, Abuja.
The news correspondent reported on September 28, 2020, that an FCT High Court had ordered Elisha Abbo, a representing Adamawa North Senatorial at the National Assembly, to pay N50 million to compensate Warmate for assaulting her at a sex toy shop.
In July 2020, a magistrate court in Zuba found the senator not guilty of criminal assault.
However, Warmate filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit marked CV/2393/19 before the FCT High Court. Also Read: https://legalattorneyblog.com/2023/08/03/actionaid-ssdo-inaugurate-gbv-response-teams-in-3-enugu/
Delivering judgment in the application, the trial judge, Justice Samira Bature, found Abbo guilty and ordered him to pay the sum to the young woman.
“I was a leading team member with @nellymacaroni, which filed the court papers in a civil suit between Ms Warmate vs Senator Elisha Abbo for the assault of Ms Warmate at an adult shop in Abuja. Excited to announce that the court slammed damages of N50m against Senator Abbo today,” Lugard Tare-Otu, a lawyer representing the victim, said.
SaharaReporters recalled that the May 11 incident occurred barely three months after Abbo became a senator-elect and a month before he was sworn in on June 11, 2019.
Not satisfied with the judgment, the lawmaker who represented Adamawa North appealed against the court’s decision at the appellate court to set aside the judgment.
Delivering its judgment on Wednesday, the appellate court dismissed the appeal in a unanimous decision of a three-member panel led by Justice Jamilu Tukur.
According to a report, the panel found no reason to dislodge the high court’s verdict on September 29, 2020, adding that trial judge Samira Bature was correct in upholding Ms Warmate’s case and awarding damages against the lawmaker.
It dismissed the Appellant’s argument that the suit that led to the damages awarded against him was not properly commenced.
The Appeal Court also dismissed Senator Abbo’s contention that he was denied a fair hearing. Furthermore, the court faulted his argument that Ms Warmate’s claim that he slapped her, pulled her hair, and dragged her out of the sex toy shop was only a simple assault, not a rights violation.
Aside from upholding the N50 million in damages, the court awarded another N500,000 in favour of Ms Warmate and resolved all five issues raised in the appeal against the Appellant.
In its lead judgment that was delivered by Danlami Senchi, the appellate court held that Senator Abbo’s appeal marked: CA/ABJ/945/2020 was bereft of any merit.
“The decision of the trial court in the award of N50m against the Appellant and in favour of the Respondent was proper,” Justice Senchi held, adding that going by the quality of evidence that was presented by Ms Warmate, including a medical report and video recordings of the incident, the decision of the trial court could not be tampered with.”
“The conduct of the Appellant is sufficiently outrageous to merit the punishment as the facts of the case disclosed flagrant disobedience of the law, especially that the Appellant is an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the court held.
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